Building a Schedule

Schedules are necessary, or at least useful in most aspects of our lives, and they can be experienced in most situations on a daily basis. For example: individuals need to know how long they need to stay in a particular location to receive a specific service, and when people need to meet a set of goals within a set time period.

Some scenarios associate scheduling with learning life skills.

Schedules are present in all aspects of our lives. The preparation and monitoring of them is an ancient human activity. In the classroom they are vital ingredient for success. This is an area of operational research. Theory and practice do not always meet, however, causing a disconnect. Scheduling in theory is simply the decision in which order to perform tasks, i.e. what task will be done before another and in areas where learning is involved they mismatches can be disastrous.

References to build a schedule

This post seeks to explain how and why divide content, goals and concepts can come together when organizing time into several different units.

Schedules can usefully cover both short periods, such as a daily or weekly activities, or long periods of several months or the entire school year. They are often implemented using a calendar, where the person doing the program can write down the dates and times when various events are planned to happen. A program does not put concrete future dates to the events that should occur, but algorithmically lists an expected order in which events can or should take place.

The year, the period, the week can be distinguished and joined according to the development of the child and the management of a cooperative class.

Examples of models and schedules are ever present and they are there for you so that you can gain and understanding of what is expect. However, these are not models to be used as an unaltered template, but a representation of how to structure the students experience for a given year …

Because they, by nature, are repetitive, schedules and routines help children learn what is expected of them and simplify their classroom activities.

Catherine Davies at Indiana University Bloomington championed visual schedules for children with ASD, allowing them to "develop a positive routine of looking for information and thus increase flexibility and the ability to cope." These same principles are easily applied for all children.

Different points to consider

Building a schedule requires being able to link and combine three main axes:

  1. Time
  2. Content
  3. Development

Time, the use of time effectively, in terms of content to be specified, and the development of the thinking of the children concerned.

This then involves turning these axes on different units and matching them with the context: the place where they learn, the team responsible for learning, etc.

Time must be able to decline

By understanding the mock-up of the school year you can identify potential changes early on, they can reveal the essential concepts that you can then turn into targeted instructions.

Scheduling a classroom effectively against this principle can be achieved with simple means like a calendar or more complicated solutions can be organized through various programs. As a basic time management tool schedules simply consist of a list showing times in which certain events or actions can take place, or a sequence of events in chronological order in which such things will take place. This allows you to deescalate the time alloted to activities that, while important during the beginning of the school year, needed less attention as time progresses. The process of creating a program with a shifting weighting is important – deciding how to sort the tasks that integrate into the and how to commit resources among the variety of possible tasks – this is he heart of time based scheduling.

Timed but not set in stone

In some situations, schedules can be uncertain, such as those where daily activity relies on environmental factors beyond human control. When you are hindered by unforeseen events a time based schedule which is able to scale accordingly is ideal.

Situations are outlined; they may repeat or vary depending on the choices made and they can be modular. A flexible schedule that accounts for these types of situations is more difficult to plan for but they produce less stress later on.

The week can show the time allotted at the domain level by official instructions, benchmarks and projects. It also allows to include the chosen educational organization: free or constrained time, individual or collective, presence of the adult, etc.

The day can give visibility to situations and objectives depending on the constraints inherent in the occupation of the premises and the life of the school.

As I said there is a need to build several "schedules" that can overlap.

As I said these examples are to be put into perspective. It is important that you apply them with the context of the year, the class group, and the team because each aspects interacts with the next. No two people build a schedule the same, but most build it with the goal of success in mind. These models serve as a basic support points they can help you build a schedule, however, they are not the schedule!

Pedagogy is built through the exchange of many points of view. Development and growth cannot exist in a vacuum and through this exchange and cooperation teachers are given an emancipatory role based on explicit research.

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